Ripple Aerospace Awarded Innovation Grant
Innovation Norway awards funding for breakthrough maritime rocket startup paving the way for Northern Europe’s first indigenous commercial launch company
Oslo, September 14th 2016: Low cost access to space is one step closer to becoming a reality for Norway’s Ripple Aerospace after it was announced last Wednesday that it has been awarded a grant from the Norwegian government. Ripple Aerospace is departing from traditional launch systems towards more Nordic traditions: drydock constructed, sea launched reusable rockets. With greater emphasis on advanced technology driven enterprises, the government of Norway is looking towards generating new industries as the oil sector, historically the economic driver for the nation of 5 million, is currently in a prolonged recession as consumers shift to alternative forms of energy opening the door for new industries to take root.
Ripple’s approach relies on 60 years of research by NASA into systems that were slated to follow the Apollo program and more recently the now retired Space Shuttle. This grant is a small step towards proving the feasibility of maritime launch systems and their ability to deliver cargo faster, heavier and cheaper than land based alternatives. The organization’s goal for sea-launched reusable rockets that can be towed into the open ocean and launched from the sea will signify a radical shift in how on demand orbital payload delivery can be performed. Through this approach Ripple is bridging the gap between the current global transportation industry and commercial spaceflight.
Kristoffer Liland, CEO and Founder of Ripple Aerospace said,”We are now focused on obtaining funding for our Sea Serpent Rocket Class R&D Program.” Ripple Aerospace anticipates the first flight tests for their oceanborne launch vehicles are taking place in Q1 2017 and commercial smallsat payloads slated for delivery by Q4 2019. With the successes of Rocket Labs in New Zealand and the crowded American launch market, it’s very probable that the next player in the competitive launch field may very well be European.